Motorist Sentenced In High-Speed Chase

OCEAN CITY — A Gwynn Oak, Md. man arrested in June on weapons and traffic charges and leading police on a high-speed chase pleaded guilty this week and was sentenced to six months in jail.

On Wednesday, Dedrick Harrell, now 19, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm by a minor and one count of attempting to elude police and was sentenced to six months. The other 19 counts against Harrell stemming from the June 16 incident were placed on the stet, or inactive, docket.

Around 8:30 p.m. last June 16, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was on stationary patrol in the area of 25th Street when he observed a Chevy Camaro with a distinctive paint design heading south on Philadelphia Avenue at a rate of 74 mph in a 35-mph zone. The officer activated his lights and siren as the suspect, later Harrell, blew past his location.

The officer began to pursue Harrell, but the suspect accelerated away from him, reaching speeds of over 100 mph at 17th Street as he weaved through slower-moving vehicles. The officer followed as Harrell turned west off Philadelphia Avenue around 12th Street. The pursuing officer spotted Harrell again along St. Louis Avenue. By now, other OCPD officers and Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies had converged on the area and joined the pursuit.

OCPD and allied officers continued to broadcast Harrell’s location as he raced through the downtown area along St. Louis, Philadelphia and Edgewater avenues along with the side streets. Harrell ultimately raced across the Route 50 Bridge where he was stopped and blocked in by allied officers at a fast-food restaurant.

An OCPD officer arrived on the scene and questioned Harrell, who did not have a license in his possession. Through the investigation, the officer learned Harrell’s license had been suspended since July 2019. Harrell reportedly admitted to consuming an alcoholic beverage at his Ocean City hotel before heading toward the restaurant in Ocean City.

At that point, Harrell was arrested on numerous traffic violations including driving on a suspended license and suspicion of driving while intoxicated. During a search of his person, OCPD officers located two unused rounds of 9mm ammunition in his pocket.

According to police reports, a loaded 9mm Luger handgun was located under the front passenger seat. There was one round in the chamber and another six rounds in the 10-round capacity magazine. A background check of the weapon revealed it had been reported stolen in Virginia. Harrell was arrested on 21 total traffic and weapons charges.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.